Ever had one of those days where everything feels overwhelming? Believe it or not, dogs can have those days, too. Recognising the signs of stress in your dog is important, not only for their well-being but also to ensure a healthy relationship between you and your furry friend. And when in doubt, always remember that a consultation with a vet can make all the difference.
Recognising the Signs of Stress in Dogs
Dogs, much like humans, have their own way of showing when they’re feeling stressed. Here are some common indicators:
Has your dog been leaving their food untouched? A sudden change in appetite can be a sign of stress.
Excessive Barking or Whining
If your dog is making more noise than usual, it might be their way of telling you they’re feeling anxious.
Pacing or Restlessness
A stressed dog might pace back and forth or seem unable to settle.
Why Your Dog Is Anxious
Dogs can experience anxiety due to a range of reasons, each unique to their individual personalities and experiences. A sudden change in their environment, such as moving to a new home or introducing a new family member, can be unsettling for them. Loud and unexpected noises, like thunderstorms or fireworks, can be jarring and induce stress.
Separation anxiety is another common cause, especially if they’re left alone for extended periods or have experienced a traumatic event in the past. Additionally, past traumas, neglect or even certain medical issues can manifest as anxiety. It’s important to observe and understand these triggers to provide proper care and comfort for your furry friend.
Tips to Alleviate Canine Stress
While it’s always essential to consult with a vet, here’s what you can do to help soothe your dog’s anxiety:
- Calming Music: Soft, calming tunes can help reduce anxiety, especially during thunderstorms or fireworks. The gentle rhythms can help calm their nerves and provide a familiar background noise in unfamiliar settings.
- Massage: Focus on areas like the neck, shoulders and base of the tail. Use soft, circular motions and observe your dog’s reactions. If they seem to enjoy it and relax, you’re on the right track.
- Interactive Toys: Mental stimulation can be a distraction from stressors. Interactive toys that challenge your dog, like puzzle feeders or toys that dispense treats, can help keep their mind engaged.
- Exercise: Physical activity is a natural stress reliever for dogs. Regular walks, play sessions and even simple games like fetch can help burn off anxious energy.
Remember, every dog is unique—what works for one might not work for another. It’s essential to know your dog, observe their reactions and adjust your approach accordingly. A vet can provide a comprehensive assessment of your dog’s health, recommend treatments and offer support tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Behavioural Consultation for Dogs in Sarina
At Sarina Veterinary Surgery, we provide comprehensive services tailored to your pet’s unique needs. From regular health checks, vaccinations and dental care to providing emergency care, we’re here to take care of your furry friend. We also offer behavioural consultations to address issues such as anxiety, aggression or excessive barking. Contact our vets in Sarina for a consultation.